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Man arrested after injuring police officer during altercation

Crime Watch

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The following is a news release from the Idaho Falls Police Department.

IDAHO FALLS — On Sunday, Dec. 29, just after 2 a.m., an Idaho Falls Police Officer was patrolling in the area of 17th Street and Holmes Avenue. The officer recognized the driver of a vehicle on the roadway as a person he knew to have an outstanding warrant and performed a stop on the vehicle.

The officer confirmed the identity of the driver and she was taken into custody on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and placed in the back of the officers’ patrol car.

The driver of the vehicle requested that the passenger take temporary possession of the vehicle in order to prevent the need to have the vehicle towed, which the officer agreed to. The officer spoke to the passenger who refused to take possession of the vehicle, stating that his driver’s license was expired and that he did not want to take on the liability of possessing the vehicle.

While speaking to him, the officer recognized the passenger as Tanner Shoesmith, who had outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants. From previous interactions with him, the officer knew that Shoesmith was likely to try to flee.

The officer moved to the passenger side of the vehicle and attempted to detain Shoesmith. Shoesmith resisted by stiffening his arms and pulling away from the officer. Shoesmith then lunged at the officer, striking the officer in the face and injuring him. This initiated a physical altercation during which several blows were exchanged as the officer attempted to detain Shoesmith and protect himself from further injury.

Shoesmith had to be taken to the ground with force multiple times and continued to fight the officer. At the end of the altercation, Shoesmith became too exhausted to continue to fight or run and said he was done, laying on the ground. In the struggle, the officer’s handcuffs had been knocked from his duty belt and lost on the ground. The officer held Shoesmith at Taser point until another officer arrived on scene to assist with the arrest.

The officer was evaluated at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) where his injuries were assessed. The officer sustained a cut to his upper lip, an injury to his right eye, numerous cuts on his right hand, an injury to his right thumb, and an abrasion on his left hand. Due to the cuts, bloodwork was also done to evaluate if any diseases may have been transferred during the altercation. This is standard protocol for any officer involved in a physical incident where the transfer of blood, spit, etc. is possible.

Tanner Shoesmith, a 21-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was arrested for Felony Battery on a Police Officer, Misdemeanor Resisting and Obstructing, a Felony Probation Violation Warrant, and two Misdemeanor Warrants. Shoesmith was also evaluated at EIRMC and was medically cleared before being transported to the Bonneville County Jail.

This is the 23rd time that an Idaho Falls Police Officer has been assaulted orbattered (that resulted in arrest charges) during the course of their duties in 2019.